House hunters in the UK are the global leaders in online property research according to a new study from HSBC.
The bank found 93 per cent of UK home buyers use online services - although not necessarily online agencies - to assist with their property search; across the world as a whole, the bank says, the figure is 83 per cent.
HSBC spoke to more than 9,000 people in nine countries to examine how PropTech is changing the way people buy a home.
It found that over half of recent home buyers started talking to an agent online as opposed to in person.
The report includes insights from Estate Agent Today contributor and PropTech expert James Dearsley, who is quoted as saying: “Property websites will become considerably more sophisticated, using big data to bring more and better properties in front of prospective buyers and taking over much of the traditional estate agent’s role. There will be no more ‘fifteen minute windows’ to view a property. Virtual reality will allow home buyers to view more homes, narrow down their choice and then ‘live’ in a virtual version for several days to truly try before they buy.”
Dealing with the many people involved (estate agents, solicitors, sellers and developers) was identified by 34 per cent of recent home buyers as the most stressful part of the home buying process, followed by understanding the legal paperwork (21 per cent); fees (19 per cent); and negotiating the price (16 per cent).
However, despite the digital trend there is still reluctance to fully digitise the home buying experience, particularly when it comes to finance. Traditional sources such as mortgage providers (41 per cent) and family (46 per cent) remain the most trusted sources of mortgage advice amongst millennials.